Wednesday, March 21, 2007

J.A. Granelli & Mr. Lucky @The Bowery Poetry Club, March 20th

Last night, met up with the Mad Scientist after Kung Fu class for a gig he spotted in the NY Times Jazz listings, which come out every Friday. We arrived at The Bowery Poetry Club, which I didn't realize hosts non-poetry events in addition to the readings and slams one might normally expect. It is a great little venue -- holds about 50 seated, maybe 3/4 the size of the Mercury Lounge, and the sound system there is crisp. It also boasts a nice healthy foods cafe out front, and a decent bar with $7 pints of draught Guinness.

We were there for the release show for J.A. Granelli & Mr. Lucky's latest CD, Homing, which the band basically played from start to finish. Neither the Mad Scientist nor I knew anything about this band prior to the gig, but I suspect it was the fact this band features an organ that caught his eye. And we figured for an $8 admission, what the hell?

For the New York Times to have put this gig under jazz was not entirely accurate, although probably most appropriate, I guess. There were no vocals; Granelli plays the bass, and the band Mr. Lucky consists of guitar, drums, organ, and usually a pedal steel guitar. Consequently, with all those instruments at their disposal, they were able to perform compositions with sounds reminiscent of the alt-country of Wilco or Ryan Adams, to the funkiness of a good New Orleans quintet, to even the atmospheric trickling of Sigur Ros. I was reminded of Broken Social Scene as well in parts, but with a third of the personnel. It was basically a group of five white dudes who enjoyed making non-traditional music, without relying on lyrical song structure to carry them forth.

We listened to most of their set for about an hour, but then general tiredness was creeping in, so we left before the end/encore. A good evening. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for future excuses to visit The Bowery Poetry Club.

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